This privacy notice is designed to help you understand how and why your information is processed during an emergency call and also during the fire service responding to an incident.
Are calls recorded and do you have the callers’ number?
All calls that are made in and out of our control room are recorded, including 999 calls.
They are recorded so that they can be played back if clarification is needed and are sometimes used as evidence in court cases. No warning is given that the calls are recorded at the time of making the call as this would obviously cause delay in an emergency situation.
When you call 999 it is vital that your number is recorded by fire control, so that we can contact you again, if we need further information from you during the incident or for the purposes of fire investigation.
Even if you have barred the ‘calling line identity’ facility, your telephone number will be displayed to the telephone exchange operator. This is a safety feature to enable us to ascertain an approximate location of the emergency.
Why do you need to process my information?
Under the Fire & Rescue Services Act 2004, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service have a statutory duty to extinguish fires and protect life and property in the event of fire and road traffic collisions. We also have a responsibility, where necessary, to attend emergencies other than fires and road traffic collisions.
It is a legal obligation for us to make arrangements for dealing with emergency calls for help and summoning personnel. If we did not collect and use this information, we would not be able to effectively provide an emergency response.
The personal information we are likely to collect during a 999 call or at an incident include;
- Caller’s telephone number and name where required
- The address of the incident, which may be the address of your property
- Injured parties name, injuries, details of any medical support given, age and gender
We may need to collect and use sensitive information, such as health details, where this is necessary to meet our obligations.
In order to make arrangements to respond to an incident we are required to obtain certain information. When you call 999 we collect and use your details and information regarding the incident to assist with our duty to protect and preserve life and deal with incidents that cause or likely to cause harm to the environment. At the incident, we will collect details of injured parties.
We also have powers to investigate causes of fires, and any information gathered during the emergency call could be used during the investigation.
During a response to an incident, information may be passed to partner agencies who are also attending, such as an other emergency services. We may collect medical information to support the ambulance service in providing care to you, in order to protect your vital interests.
How will my information be used?
The 999 call is directed to North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service control room, and the caller is asked numerous questions regarding the incident. During busy periods the call may be taken by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service Control room.
We collect information such as the address where the emergency is, what is on fire, or what other emergency you have, to enable us to decide what our response will be, for example, how many fire engines we will send.
We can then gather other valuable information from the caller which will be passed on to the operational crew while they are en-route to the incident. This information may include things such as do you know if anybody is trapped and their whereabouts? Whether there are hazards such as an oil tank or gas cylinders near the fire or incident? how many vehicles are involved in the collision?
We may need to know a caller’s name and address. This can be used as a guide to where the incident has been seen from and to enable the crew to locate the original caller if there are any difficulties locating the incident. We’d also ask a caller’s name if they were the one trapped by fire or involved in another incident.
If we reasonably believe a fire is about or has broken out, we can enter the building, by force if necessary, without the consent of the owner for the purpose of extinguishing or preventing the fire or protecting life or property.
After the incident certain information is entered into the Incident Recording System. The information is recorded against an incident number not an individual’s name. Names are only included for serious injuries or fatalities. The links below take you to documents that show the type of information which is included within the system and the statistics that are published from the data
The information gathered is used to manage our performance, inform our Integrated Risk Management Plan which is a requirement of the National Firefighter Framework and report to Government and auditors.
Who will have access to the information?
The information gathered during the incident is stored on the Control mobilising system(s), with access restricted to those who need it to perform their role, including the control room staff in Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service.
As stated, there may be occasions where it is identified that a multi-agency response is required, and relevant details about the incident may be disclosed to other parties to enable their emergency response.
Information regarding the incident is shared with operational crews to help assist with deployment and their response. Verbal and electronic messages will continuously be relayed between operational crews and control to ensure an effective response to the incident is provided.
In regards to the information within the Incident Recording System, this is accessed by those within the Service who have a role requirement to access the system and also the Home Office.
There may be occasions whereby the information we have gathered regarding an incident, including our response, is disclosed to other agencies upon request. For example, the police may be investigating the cause of an incident and they require certain information for the prevention and detection of crime or apprehension of an offender, this could include the details of the caller. The Health and Safety Executive may be investigating an incident and require the information. In the unfortunate circumstances of a fatality, the Coroner will request that we disclose certain information for them to take into consideration during a Coroner’s inquest. We will not rely on your consent to disclose this information, as we will have another legal basis that can be relied upon.
We do get requests for copies of the incident reports and fire investigation reports, and these are disclosed to members of the public who can provide evidence of residence or ownership of a property or vehicle or the solicitors, insurance companies and loss adjusters who are acting on behalf of the owner/occupier of an affected property or vehicle. Information can also be provided to someone acting on behalf of an individual who has been recorded on the incident record as being injured as a result of the incident. Necessary identification will be requested to ensure information is not disclosed inappropriately.
We may also use general incident information (depersonalised) to support community safety messages.
How long will you keep hold of my information?
How long we retain the information depends on the purpose it was collected for. We keep:
- Call recordings for current year plus five years.
- Incident data on the mobilising system for current year plus ten years.
- And the information on the Incident Recording System is held indefinitely allowing the Home Office analysts to perform useful longer term trend analysis into the drivers of change.
Information about fire investigation is included within that specific privacy notice.
Is there anything else I need to know when it comes to my personal information?
To find out more about the rights you have when it comes to your personal information or who you can contact to discuss it further visit the ‘Your Information Rights‘ page of this website.